Sponsors not keen to invest in netball
More than R52m needed before the league starts in two months’ time.
Netball SA (NSA) needs more than R52 million to run the Netball Premier League, scheduled to start in April.
This was revealed in figures put together by Accelerate Sport, an agency tasked by NSA to work on the league’s financial breakdown.
This information was presented by NSA before the parliamentary sports committee last week.
And, while the NSA impressed the committee members with the presentation, it is still not clear where the money will come from.
Accelerate Sport has for some time been travelling the nation trying to convince as many as 142 companies to come on board as sponsors – and the majority have so far rejected the invitation.
Leading sport channel SuperSport and major hotel group Tsogo Sun are the only entities who have signed on, as broadcaster and accommodation partner, respectively.
The former has penned a five-year agreement while the latter is on for a year.
Accelerate Sport director Garry Grant told City Press this week that the travelling and negotiations have been strenuous.
“It’s been very frustrating, more especially when we got negative responses from companies who contribute millions of rands to male sports.”
Even the National Lottery Board wasn’t keen despite NSA having cut down its financial plans for the upcoming season from more than R80 million.
The premier league will have 10 teams and staff – provincial managers and coaches.
NSA president Mimi Mthethwa said the premier league was “a great risk but we believe the time is right”.
Grant believes if government provided close to R500 million for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, then it should be able to fund the nation’s biggest female sport.
Minister of Sports and Recreations Fikile Mbalula said “we rescued NSA from bankruptcy in the past and supported them but government does not have the capacity to carry franchises and Leagues.”
“We will continue to support Netball through our guaranteed and conditional allocation (of funds) as is the case with all federations,” vowed Mbalula.